Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Moons ago I  planted, some Passiflora edulis, Canavalia maritima, and before that, five Frangipanis.

I had to get rid of the second, while pruning  on and off the tips of the tangy fruit vine. However, the Passiflora was casting too much shade for the Frangipani..  This five,  following the urge, began twisting towards the light, something more frequently noticed in indoor plants.  Crooked, twisted, bended and mutilated trees in their form a la bonsai, may seem cool to some, not to me.

The Frangipanis are happier now. Getting the necessary light hours  required. I forgot to mention that I had to prune the white Frangipani, something I avoid, but got no choice, It was too heavy in the right side, bending towards the ground. I saved and propagated four stems.

Cestrum *
Crinum americanum
Crinum asiaticum *
Eucharis grandiflora *
Gardenia jasminoides *
Gelsemium sempervirens
Jasmines *
Murraya *
Osmanthus fragrans
Pancratium zeylanicum
Pandorea jasminoides
Passifloras *
Plumerias *
Polianthes tuberosa *
Stephanotis floribunda
Tabernamontana coronaria
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Zephyrantes chlorosolen

You could find fragrance in shrubs, bulbs, vines, and gingers.  Like taste, scent has very subjective properties. I can't stand the sweet vanilla like of Ylan-Ylan and Nerious oleander.  But I am in what seems a small minority, judging from what I hear.

There.  Gardening seems such a simple, simple, thing for most people, particularly the ignorant.  But the complexity is really wide.  That, most of the time is what triggers my abrasive annoyance particularly from people working in the green industry, nurseries, but nothing like academicians with phd's, architects, landscape architects, agronomists, monitor environmentalists, and journalists.

In essence the complex simplicity of biodiversity, the environment, is what gives sense to life, at least to mine.  I love to be with me companion Diva, and very few people.

* In my collection, same or similar variety.

The rest I can do without..Apaga i vamonoh.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I JUST called, 787-724-0169JARDIN DE ISLA VERDE, Luchetti street,  a so/so nursery in El Condado.  Some English dominant in dirty rags,   employee I saw yesterday, answers, transferring the call to a bigger idiot.

The question inquires the habitual reader of this blog...What matters to ME, the blunt, merciless, misanthropist, acid, abrasive  author of this humble blog...How many species in your nursery?

THOUSANDS, respond the beyond mentally retarded employee.  Two phone calls later pretending to be someone else, brought the same result. NONE.

Even in one of the highest income, education with significant foreign, ethnic representation metro areas of Puerto Rico, imbecility not only rules, it imposes the aberrant ignorance about FLORA/FAUNA.

SURE. The bad guy is I. Not them. If you like this do not miss the next issue,
Shade and fragrance in your garden or mine...Keep your eyes open.

Apaga i vamonoh.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


ON one of my daily peregrinations to gardening blogs, I discovered, found, remembered?  Another fundamental quality in a garden that may pass unnoticed for the average joe/jane six pack, but carries some weight.

SOUND. This woman gardener wrote in her great blog, about the pleasurable effect of wind against her corn stalks.  Sorry I did not bother to write the link, I was lazy to do it, but let the record show the credit is hers.

I your grouchy gardener had that pleasure with Cestrum diurnum, during my times in Bayamon City, check the picture at right. 

This multiple trunk bush/tree has tiny white flowers with a remarkable scent, similar to that the flower of Passiflora edulis.

At any rate, these minute flowers create a familiar sound when they fall, just like  medium sized tropical raindrops against all leaves around.

Cestrum diurnum, from my observations in that terrace, is perhaps, one of the most useful for fauna in general, birds: Anthracothorax dominicus, Spindalis, insects, sustaining a food  chain not easily to watch from your back yard in any other place.

Spindalis, bees, flies, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds took the nectar. Anolis lizards hung out daily, early for breakfast.  Zorzales de patas naranja, Pitirres, Changos all dropped by to eat the visitors, smaller in size.

I am sorry, well, really annoyed,  unable to provide  more botanical names of the above mentioned birds.  When I try to research, investigate issues like this, the web is useless.  The Puerto Rican Ornithological Society, 'botanical' gardens, 
have never thought of providing a logical inventory of birds in the URBAN CONTEXT. No, that is too much to ask, lets just have bird watchers in the necks of the woods names! Send them a note:    directivasopi@yahoo.com,

The other four elements? I would say/
write, color, texture, fragrance and architecture.  That is what I believe. If you have others, your own, I would like to know.


Cucurbita moshata
Physalis alkekengi
Passiflora caerulea

All these seeds were planted already.  The packets are collector items, sturdy with excellent information.  Rocalba is the company.  From Girona, Spain.

from the editor

To live among idiots, feeble minded academicians is not easy, particularly when they have credentials and tittles that should show better, quality colors.

Puercorico stinks, deeply in the San Juan Metro Zone, even when I look the other way, to keep my sanity.

Dario, apaga la luh.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have made an effort to put aside the scam, money laundering shown in the tittle, however, when I read and encounter new ways to portray it, I can not help but to retrace my steps, painting again as in a variation on the same theme. 

la chiwinha
sierra club
arboles de puerto rico
and all the tribes for
the 'environment' 

In a not too recent past, I thought that some environmental preachers, academicians, newspapers, journalists, ariel lugo, cargas i descargas, blind country,  a widow comes to mind, our robin hood fernando pico, carmen santiago usda,  were serious about their concerns
about the environment: soil, water, air, food, flora and fauna.  ALL were informed about this scam, ALL swept it under the carpet, I have not forgotten.

It is one thing if Highway and Housing developers with accomplices in banks, 007 Recursos Naturales search, destroy and bury, the environment. But a totally different story when a Phd, with some cacti with his unmentionable name,
a researcher and 'agronomist' wife?

Everyone is afraid of having their pockets shrink, their hollow reputation, their positions affected. Grabbing the bull by the scrotum. Your humble servant is not. Let the ruffling of the feathers begin. 
The Once and Future Forest
Leslie Jones Sauer
Andropogon Associates
page 74

A forest consists primarily of long-lived plants whose reproductive sites develop above ground.  These plants are not "rejuvenated" by cutting, as turf is.  The actual damage may go unobserved because something usually regrows.  It is the shift from native wildflowers to more vines and exotics that often goes unnoticed. But every time the forest is cut, it is further simplified.

A corollary problem is the too-tidy forest that has not been necessarily brush-hugged but where too much 
of the understory has been weeded
away.  With it wildlife shelter and food vanish, as well as the next generation of forest plants.  Over vigorous removal of exotics has the same result.  The moral of the story is: Do not clear more than will be replaced naturally by adjacent native vegetation or what are able to replant and tend.

We must remember that the ground is the cradle of the landscape, the place of regeneration.  We must make every effort to avoid unnecessary soil disturbance, such as grubbing (digging out roots of undesired plants) and rototilling.  These methods may be appropriate for renovating a horticultural bed planting but are not suited to woodlands.  If the surface is presently stable, even if it is supporting only exotic invasives, beneath the soil will be roots of numerous different plants, often originating a great distance away.  Tree roots, for example are completely opportunistic, seeking any favorable ground, and easily extend 30 or more feet beyond the farthest reach of their branches.

Grubbin and rototilling also disrupt fragile microorganisms and may damage fungi associated with plants, mycorrhizae, on which good forest growth depends.  Such disturbance can also stimulate many root sprouts
of certain trees that can strongly alter the character of a site.

 The time has come to share the pictures of the butchery, Macondo, the banana plantation killing of laborers, come to mind, but caveat emptor, I am writing about flora and fauna. If you support
these institutions you become part of the scam. Parque Donha Ines, Luis Munhoz Marin Foundation, a cave with the forty thieves.  On my next post, some examples will be exposed in the order of this post. The perfect robbery on plain day light.  To finish, let the record show that the salary of these two foreigners is over 80,000 USA dollars X 8 years=644.000 bucks from federal, public and government funds, to plant
palms, turf, concrete and asphalt with  endemismo trasnochado behind.

Apaga i vamonoh Moncho Escroto, aka Ramon Couto. 


Monday, September 20, 2010


Perhaps you read the previous, if not, check it out if necessary, or skip it. NOW HE COUNTING TREES.  A post dedicated to Ivonne Acosta Lespier.  These humble lines are connected to that post.

Inventories, polls and statistics are useful.  Often they are related to money, even this post, when stretching the imagination will be related to it.

One pertinent factor is that anyone can attach any numbers to one's intention. Mine is to show national stupidity or the roots in  the San Juan Metro Zone  with  this small token.

There are 23 palms in Bouret street.  The biggest one, a 4' in diameter in Tito's front yard.  It is probably 20/30 years old and ugly as hell.  Except for this one, the rest were planted in the last ten years, (mostly shitty Arecas) judging from diameter/height.

This is evidence that contamination by
palm/turf/Ficus hedges is a relatively recent epidemic.  Since there are very few blogs in the concrete/asphalt isle, about gardening and no one else is concerned or writing about landscape trends in this urban context with the rigor it demands, is my word.  

Most palms are in front, less than five feet, from the residences or the sidewalk.  Except for the whale sized one in Tito's.

Crotons are significant to judge the trends in the vicinity. Their growth is super slow.  I counted 8, used as hedges, not taller than 5'.  Most of these houses were built 50/70 years ago.  In consequence the vegetation shows the trends, availability, and taste of yesteryear.  Any person with skills can tell through the observation of plant, bush, tree, climbers, ground covers, (mostly concrete), these old fashioned trends.

Out of over 50 houses between Eduardo Conde and Ponce de Leon avenues, on this street, less than five have real turf, and use trimmers/blowers to irritate the vicinity and your irritated servant.  Including Universidad Sagrado Corazon, the neighbor from hell in our backyards.  

18 Bouganvilleas (# equal residences) are a sign of good taste, old fashioned trends,  in my opinion.  They are tall, thick, all showing incorrect pruning, duplicating their branches unnecessarily.
A light purple is the dominant color, all looking like crap for their unkempt looks.

The 3 Crape myrtle are significant for the huge amount of organic waste falling from their branches. Dry leaves, flowers and seeds.  Ucar and Mahogany, with hated palms are also in this exclusive group.  In addition all the mentioned clog the gutters/drains, causing floods.

Most of the vegetation mentioned so far, besides the waste, create a standard aesthetic problem: dwarfing residences because of their height.  On one hand, on the other, the constant mutilation of  branches with improper pruning when reaching the electrical wires, which in turn duplicate them culprits.

Now that you got part of the picture, lets explore some more. Lack of  meaningful orchard like trees, or other edible possibilities.

Guava, lemon, papaya, orange and grapefruit are represented in the inventory.

One would expect that people in the tropics will be fond of fruits in their back or front yards.  Not in the vicinity.
When adding the totals, with lemons dominating with 5, they do not reach 10.

Bear up with me now. This is very subjective, but rather logical.  Middle classes and the uppers, have some disdain for the country side and its people, peasants.

That would explain the total absence of: breadfruit trees, musa: banana/plantains,
yuca or yautia to name a few.  Aesthetics aside....I know some of these will grow nicely, check my former Yucca manihot at right.

But reality bites.  One explanation for the lack or orchard sensibilities is the total lack of shyness from the natives/invaders, pedestrians, junkies to take home any reachable fruit from any branch on their path or visual field. Ripe or not.

For the first end of this post, let the record show that Junior, the toothless handyman/tree butcher, placed an upside down trash can in Farrukito's front yard to grab some Guavas........

For the end in depth, money was mentioned as part of the story.  Think of all the money that could be saved getting rid of the bothersome vegetation, eliminating waste, noise and pollution, planting something with intelligence and research.

Or the money selling the virtual/real fruits, or bartering, exchanging what they produce in their yards, as some people do in California. 

Money makes the world go round, but is not the only way...Apaga i vamonoh.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I certainly miss a few television shows that remain in the memory. Two Fat Ladies, about British gastronomy.  The heroines drove in a motorcycle with a sidecar around that isle demonstrating the goods that country has in the field.

City Gardener, the best show, the one that lasted the least, on HGTV, about gardening with good taste, pragmatics,
in really small spaces in the home of the Manchester United.

Another weird show: Rosemary and Thyme. The protagonists were a couple of women, gardeners and detectives, solving different sort of crimes, always within the gardening framework. 

The beauty and imagination demonstrated on these shows, was truly amazing.  A pity there is no way to watch reruns again.

In the local front, Puercorico, USA, back on the  dirt adventures.

The Chayamansa, was relocated from plastic to fiberglass.  The lemon tree, four years old, went the other way.  What is Chayamansa the curious, serious gardener may inquire. Go to search, find out. There will be no more new botanical names until further notice.

French drain and hole.  In front of the Pithelobium dulce,  there was a puddle after any rain.  With a chisel, ten pound sledge hammer a one square foot was dug.  Were not as easy to dug as the seven previous, for drains or planting. The concrete mix had more rocks and thicker, making it harder.  I removed the top, put it aside. Caved about 18" deep, removing the sand for future use, placed back the concrete debris in the hole and metal grille/plastic on top. That is that, no more puddle.

The other hole in concrete, will become  home of my fourth Bouganvillea, this one propagated from a cut stem  and rooting hormones. It came from Fajardo City, in the north easth of the concrete/asphalt isle. This color is not very common, color, almost scarlet. A dark intense purple.

After a new attack from the populace on my Calliandra haemathocephala, one stem of Pereskia bleo, was planted in front of  it and one with the Guaicum offinale to dissuade future passers by from snapping/snatching.

The multiple thorns, eventually will stop the vandals doing it for  the hell of it or to propagate, as it was mentioned some time ago.

During recent snail/slug crusades, thirty of the first and five of the second were casualties of my beer wars.

After some research, I found that grape juice, egg shells, and pine needles could be used to stop or execute the culprits.

Apaga i vamonoh.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


That is how the 'sin mordazas' widow, described, defined my work some moons ago.  At the time, some typical seasonal tree hunt was taken place by islander butchers from the private or government sector.

The occassional environmental sensibilities of that segment of the population,  at the beauty of the trees, you know, they cool the air and offer shade and housing for the birdies, that erupts at every hunt was superficially wounded.

Something had to be done. "One has to choose the battles to be fought". Someone without credentials wrote: "I do not need a certificate to express my opinion about the environment", adding later about the 'Blogger who opposed el petition', not totally true since I signed it, to get them off my back.  

All what I write, well most of it, is in a continuum.  Poetry, movies, tears, international, insular politics and classical music is good entertainment, but the foolishness of dedicating one's  life, just to that,  ignoring water, air, food, flora and fauna is beyond my understanding and tolerance.

After this subtle and dogmatic introduction, with the desire of putting al 'pan pan vino vino' in the proper context, lets get to the vegetation of Bouret street, between Eduardo Conde and Ponce de Leon avenues.
I dedicate this opus
 to camille matojo roldan soto
 and Paco Vacas from el nuevo dia

For a radical change of pace there will be no BOTANICAL NAMES this time, (except for fun)
go and try to find if what I have mentioned before is true o not.
Popular names are useless for the serious gardener, now or in the long run, or in a dyachronic, sinchronic state of mind.

  1. Roble nativo  3
2.  Cipres  3
3.  Ixora     10
4.  Croton   8
5.  Bouganvillea  14
6.  Lemon    5
7.  Palms, all kinds   21
8.  Ucar       3
9.    Higuero, not a Ficus  1
10.  Ylan-Ylan   1
11.   Guaicum officinale  2
12.   Canario rosa  1
13.    Canario amarillo 2
14.    Callistemon   3
15.    Crape myrtle  3
16.     Dracaena marginata   5
17.     Bauhinia  1
18.      Thevetia peruviana  1
19.     Calliandra haemathocephalla  1
20.      Jasminun multiflorum  5
21.       Aphelandra 2
22.      Ficus   2
23.      Tecoma stans 2
24.      Hibiscus  4
25.      Pleomeles  3
26.       Mussaenda  1
27.       Acalipha    1
28.       Cordyline 3
29.       Tee plant  5
30.         Turnera ulmiforme  2
31.       Grapefruit   1
32.       Orange      1
33.        Papaya  1
34.      Alpinias  3
35.   Murraya paniculata    

Following the mentioned linguistic model there are some patterns here that later will be discussed later.
For those of you planting or not, think of this.  If a garden is like a novel, poem or short story, for the hell of it, one may consider the plant selection as vocabulary and the arrangement,  placement or installation as a parragraph and so on.
In Puerto Rico, all the above result in mentally retarded, feeble minded, or night time remedial study student output.
Time to go apaga i vamonoh....to be continued....

Monday, September 13, 2010


SOON or later one must decide to follow the talentless, contemplative and complacent majority mass, unable to beat them or to create ways to look, observe, the old omnipresent sameness in the urban asphalt/concrete reality with new EYES.

Gardening beyond the digging, dirt and hole, the Uh/Ahs!, what the average Joe Six pack finds comfortable with this or that flower, requires some depth either in thought or ability to research.

I have been forced to ponder, look within to understand the national stupidity on this regard.  

What has been the horticultural/gardening scene down in the concrete/asphalt/craters/weeds isle for the last half a century?

Landscape architects, architects, engineers, agronomists for the last five decades have been ALL feeble minded?

The answer is evident. Go and visit the Luis Munhoz Rivera Park, the only one
designed with some imagination in terms of paths, fountains, arbors/trellises
in the San Juan Metro Zone decades ago.

Or visit the headquarters of the architects and landscape architects. Check the renovations, looking at the original structure and grounds.  What these fools have done is just to copy what every other jerk in Puerto Rico and Florida believe is cute or trendy. Palm trees four feet from an elegant, elegant house now ruined with some shiny slates, that look like shit when one thinks of it, not to get into the slippery, hazardous conditions they create when it rains.

Defining the purpose is pertinent.  The synchronic study of a language (or garden*), is an attempt to determine shall we say, what is involved in knowing English at any given time; whereas the diachronic study of language (a garden*) is an attempt to trace the historical evolution of its elements through various stages.
 The recent post on Museo Contemporaneo de Arte, with a blind gardener and  architect on the board of directors is a good example of what 
gardens were down here decades ago in residences, commercial and private properties and and what they have become: a pile of tasteless, repetitive manure.

  To be continued...

Apaga i vamonoh.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Down by the asphalt/concrete isle, there are no public libraries.  Not as they are known in proper countries.  One has to go to Borders.  There you have to deal with phones, loud talkers, laughing
stock, and inappropriate music through the speaker system.

With some effort and concentration gardening books and magazines mostly about countries with four seasons only, are found.  Once in a while, an idea or a concept offers stimulating possibilities
to improve your installation.

Pruning is after planting, propagating and weeding the most frequent activity in me garden, or yours.   However I am not a fan.

You will find Arecas like topiaries in the island.  A paramount stupidity, with good will.  In horticulture and gardening, this virtue is totally useless.

At any rate, in the index, Bouganvilleas and Vitis vinifera, were among the few your favorite blogger bothered to read. As usual no recommendation about tools.

Pruning is a waste of energy, effort and time, unless necessary. If it is done for correction, aesthetics,  a production increase, as in orchards, fine with me.

I am not into lopers, just hand pruners and saws.  It is important to sharpen the blade, sterilize and oil it.  If any branch is more than an inch, I use the saw, careful not to ruin the bark.

If you have lots of spare time prune until you die. Even if you prune correctly some creatures like Bouganvilleas, will grow as they want. Let them. When they situation starts getting too thick, with too many branches against each other, cut from the base. If you cut in the middle or tip, you will double or triple the amount of branches.

I feel sorry for those with hedges here. In every garden, residential or commercial, out of every ten perhaps five, have a Ficus, Ixora, Ruellia, Chefflera, Silver mangrove. Silver mangrove or Bouganvillea hedges.  It is like written in stone, you do not really have a garden, there is no garden unless one or multiple hedges in the most ridiculous places shows up. 

The Puercorican Architects Headquarters is the dummy pet symbol, with a hedge, in a Zen like interior pond.

Hedges were popular in the original old FORMAL gardens of Europe and else.  Sometimes they are necessary to hide pipes, transformers, you name it, anything that is ugly.

Hedges, turf and palms are the enemy of our city dumps, with huge amounts of organic waste. Here most organic waste is  buried instead of  becoming mulch or money when you think of it.

Yet one could reach the same goal with vines and trellises without much waste and less, easier pruning..

Time to go, apaga i vamonoh.  

Friday, September 10, 2010


I met this girl environmentalist in where else? Feisbuk.  In the beginning it was all philosophy, insight, love for nature, environmental good will.  But the misanthropist within was very suspicious.  Another case of the Guaynabo City, Scubba Dog Syndrome spreading all over the isle, this time in  a far away iconic dry desert town, my favorite away from the populace spot.

I went to the wall of this syrupy, anonymous character, an there it was, a landscape  maintenance company without credentials.

I have translated in my usual pidgin English, not verbatim, one message she sent recently, not too philanthropic as one can see.
Last week the bank staff notified us we had been chosen out of 3 estimates for  6,000 feet of turf.  They just want Zoysia grass, no garden, no plants.

This type of customer state what they want, in other cases we can offer other choices.

What alternatives without plants or garden be offered in situations like this?  Gravel offers no green and it becomes a maintenance problem with the weeds.

Our employees complain about too much weeding by hand.  They want an aggressive spraying system of fungicides and herbicides, but we are mostly into the manual weeding.  This is a problem in time consumed and man hours involved.

As you dear reader can see, this a pro bono request,  consultant job, to make profits in a small business, .

I will offer the answers.  But let the record show that one should not pretend to be a good will environmentalist Samaritan, cleaning the sand in the nearby beach, when the truth, is that promotion, for one business is the real intention. Honesty is the best policy.

ONE.  Weeds have to be identified, broad leaf or not.  What do weeds want, need? What is weed blocker fabric, mulch, for? Shall we use systemic/non systemic herbicides?

The employees can identify weeds from non weeds? I am not sure. 

Can they read the instructions, make the correct mix?
What about wind conditions? Rain, during or after the spraying?  How much terrain covered with one gallon of the mix? Which is the less expensive, most effective? What type of sprayer one hand two gallons, or back pack?  Cleaning the sprayers after the job is done.  Protection garments, gloves, hat, mask?

Once the fools with the landscape maintenance with their ' credentials on their office wall' (she did not tell), figure all this, then they can proceed.. spraying. Suggestion: start your research SOON. Later, check on for the least toxic or the most, down here NO ONE CARES.

TWO. Green without plants? Astro turf is nice, or paint the gravel green, that covers the inquiry in this regard.

TREE.  Food for thought, If one plants turf/lawn/grass in most of the south of Puerto Rico, a desert,
one is a shameless son of a beach.  Then an irrigation system is mandatory, water waste, noise, pollution of air, soil,  comes next.  What kind of crap is being an environmentalist on your spare time,
and feeble minded polluter during the rest, for a profit?  Your right hand washes the left? 

Research and develop your own theories.  Propagate and study alternative ground covers organic, alive or not organic for landscapes.  You are the one doing landscape for profits.


That ended the
 kind philosophical environmental
exchanges in the mentioned social network when this humble islander
inquired about some
bartering exchange for the consultant job.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Juat can I say...'Variety is the spice of life' as that song by the Doors, said decades ago...Yesterday, I had the pain in the ass pleasure of peeling a breadfruit, you know, the one Captain Blight was so careful to transport to  plant and feed the slaves in the British colonies in America the beautiful.

Believe me, is not as difficult to peel as that favorite of foreign tourists and some natives also, Cocos nucifera, for which I have just a far away interest, being a hated palm and all.

What is important is why in hell is breadfruit and not crackerfruit. Well, it was boiling, as I returned from the yard
I felt a familiar fragrance. I thought me darling was baking bread, but it was the Altocarpus altilis, a product with many gourmet variables including deserts. 

Back in the studio, the Dracaena marginata 15' tall,  found in the south garden when we moved, has been exterminated.  A pink Frangipani from seed, about 4' is now in its place.  This tree, is a clone from the original, a birthday present. There is a picture at right.

A DK succulent was relocated twelve feet to the left in the south garden.  This creature was at one time in a bonsai pot while living in Brooklyn, is the oldest in my collection, probably sixteen years old and about four feet tall.

If you have a mostly concrete yard, check the picture at right, you may encounter that when the surface is uneven, after each rain puddles will form.

The solution? Antigonum the know all, solved the problem with a chisel and
ten pound sledgehammer.

This surface is about four inches thick, it brakes even and if you buy a grill before hand, that will be the measure, in our case 10' by 10'.

As you brake the concrete have a bucket nearby to put the debris. Once the top hole is done, dig up to 2' or 3' deep, saving  the sand, in my case, in another bucket.

Now that you got an even empty whole put the original debris in the bottom, add gravel, your favorite to the top, leaving 1" or 2" to place the grill. That is that. No more puddles. It is call a French drain. The end.

Apagad e idnos...o Dario apaga la luh.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It happened again.  This morning while fixing the early coffee, I forgot the coffee pot.   Noticing the pressure sound away,  the Krups espresso machine was right,  there it was.  A puddle of  dark stimulating liquid on the table.

This reminds me of the silly islanders without ever tasting the tens of varieties of this grain, claim proudly that puercorican coffee is the best in the world, or tobbacco or whatever,
except sugar cane there is NONE.

One coffee related anecdote comes to mind.  My Hebrew landlord, in Wyckoff street four buildings down Smith street, then a dump (1992/95), now elegant, expensive and chic.

Scott Oskow-Schoenbrod, was his name.  He was fond of my coffee and looking at the machine brand, stated that his mother will not appreciate if he bought one.  So he got a huge commercial  Italian. He never paid the interest on the deposit when I moved to Manhattan.

This brings me to the tittle. There is a book with it, by Jonathan Culler, Cornell University Press.  Gary Boudreau was the teacher in UMass, one of the best I encountered in my pilgrimage in four universities.

At any rate, most people take gardening as something trivial, a hobby or distraction.  Some feeble minded jerks/jerkettes, declare that I have too much 'spare time' in my hands.  The scary part of the above, is that a most ignorant person in terms of academic background/exposition, degree, will assume the exact same position of a phd, bachellor or masters.

Screw them says I.  I have been pondering of finding a way to see the garden, virtual or real, beyond what I find around.

Linguistics will provide the model, I am not out of my mind, really, look at it as an academic meaningless exercise, after all, that is what they do.

Before getting into it, when have you herd, or read that a poet, novelist, sculptor, painter, singer, has too much time to spare?

to be continued

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



I met JOSE BERRIOS, a while ago, watching him trying to overcome the jungle of branches of different mistakenly planted and pruned 
trees and bushes in 
FARRUKITO'S *, four feet sidewalk,
rented residence across the street, where I live. 

But  that is another story for the epilogue.  The thing is that I saw Jose, a person without  the common will, humor and insight found in the isle, this morning. 

I asked if he was really blind, responding what do I think. 

Seconds later, why did I see your picture in el Nuevo Dia?  Because I
swam the Catanho-San Juan Bay.

I took  advantage of the situation and shared a couple of anecdotes about Anita La Huerfanita, the granny with the so/so butt,  his former landlady. The bitch kick him out of his rented apartment because he pruned/cut some shitty looking Alpinias or Zinzibers without asking for permission.

Anita, that b/w itch, has a boyfriend half her age, could be her son. How old is she,  asks Jose? My age says I.

How old are you?  I am teasing you Jose..She is between five decades and six.  He calculates and smiles.

The other story is that gelatined butted Anita, was car jacked in front of her jungle-house recently. 
His eyes moved down without any happiness..But the issue is that the lord, if there is one, works/operates in misterious ways.

Let the record show this was no silly, shitty chit chat in the middle of the sidewalk. Blind people with
aluminum canes, trying to walk, finding their sense of direction, have also to deal with branches of trees and bushes in the air,  the fucking sidewalk, getting cut while they try to get through.

And since this is PUERTO RICO, USA, they also have to deal with garbage bags in the middle of the sidewalk, while they try to go through.

UNIVERSIDAD SAGRADO CORAZON, number one enemy of the community with noise and pollution is also guilty of this nuisance. Their Mahogany trees on San Agustin street, Bouganvilleas on Eduardo Conde are vegetation barriers for people with handicaps.
The illiterate supervisor and employees have no vision to foresee these issues..That is why Antigonum the humble rules and set trends.  

DARIO, apaga la luh.

Farruquito, is a pimp looking fellow
with chango blosom hair, thick chains, bracelets, double his size tropical printed shirts,  and like the original flamenco star, Farruquito, with Flamenco high heel shoes to look a coupe of inches taller.

In brief: Plants, bushes and trees could make life for other people with different needs, miserable if their growth is not kept under
reasonable boundaries.

Monday, September 6, 2010



Me garden, me blog, sometimes is blurry to differentiate in between, yet one thing is clear, the first will live without the second.

Alcantarilla Alquimica
Rainforest Gardener 
Isaber World Trekker
Ana Cristina Fashionista
for their visits, feedback
and support, lately and since the beginning.

 The garden is what it is, I doubt very much there are many perceived, 
maintained, developed as mine. 

However, it would not have been possible without the following, who  shared their plants, experience, knowledge and wisdom regarding plants, for the eating, appreciation, or both. 

Rengui, the legendary in law, was borne before the wheel in Morovis City. Here her contributions, (some are shown in the pictures at right)
to your favorite virtual/real garden:

Cestrum diurnum
Alocasia cucullata
Polyscias (4)
Chrysothemis pulchella
Gardenia (2)
Dracaena marginata
Turnera ulmifolia 

Gladys Munhiz, me darling: 

Malpighia glabra
Frangipani pink
Citrus sinensis
Citrus aurantifolia
Brunfelsia Pauciflora
Phalaenopsis (1)
Zinziber officinalis
Ruellia officinale

ML Diaz
Myosotis, Thilandsia

Mercedes RIP

Polianthes tuberosa

Eucharis amazonica

Crispin Correa
Passiflora edulis
Yucca manihot

Teresa Munhiz
Turnera subulata

Money Lover Adventist
Hibiscus cannabinus

Proiphys amboinensis
Bouganvillea buttiana

Previous owner
Pseuderantemon reticulatum
Gloriosa rothschildiana

Hazel Topoleski
Black eyed Susan
My only seed exchange
with anyone, from Texas 

Greatest idiots during this time? Fondita de Jesus, Peninsula de Cantera, Bosque San Patricio, Enlace,
Comunidad de los 8, Caymari and Facundo Bueso public schools, Alzheimer Association and ALL the jerks I offered pro bono my skills and know how, without the courtesy of a response.

Thanks to all

Apaga i vamonoh!


Sunday, September 5, 2010


After some time working as a simultaneous interpreter/sight translator with the New York State Civil Court,  I returned to the asphalt/concrete isle.  I got tired of the segregation--segregated but equal--treatment to interpreters, rampant at 111 Centre Street.

On one hand, on the other, paying one third of my salary in taxes another for rent.   During half a life exiled, I never got used to a subtle treatment from even 'friends' as if I was an uninvited guest at their fraternity party (USA).  No difference between blacks/whites, it does not exclude other coloreds.

That was one, the other the sensation in MA or NY, that natives thought they were superior intellectually
because my English was of the second language nature.  I was able to deal with racism, prejudice without much difficulty but not this.

Hoping to have my own business later, 
I went to get my certificate in the New York Botanical Garden (2000/02), in Commercial Horticulture Landscape Management. I returned during that summer.

During that year I worked on my own not making any money; discovering that landscape and landscape installation practices are thirty years behind, not to talk about the primitive, feeble minded segment of the population with nurseries and landscape maintenance business.

To have my own became water and salt.  Later I went to work with pond scum:
Parque Donha Ines and Luis Munhoz Marin Foundation.

Those years taught me the moral fiber of many foreigners and natives in Puercorico, regarding their chosen careers.  I was also a laboratory, a chance to observe at close range the rampant white collar criminal minds in action.  Creating fraud scams right and left, ripping off public, private and federal funds for their own benefit with total impunity.  Wolves caring for sheep.
They are still doing it*.

It was also my own four acres garden in which I planted and propagated hundreds of plants out of my own money.  I made a prairie garden, as you can see in the picture at right, with just Cosmos sulphureous seeds and a trimmer.  My first creations with bricks, stones as borders, paths were there.  Thanks for the memories.

Meanwhile, in Bayamon City, where I lived at the time, there were between thirty and fifty species in Rengui's collection, my in law.  Check the picture at right.

There was the origin of my not so humble garden today.  During that time I  cut/rake the lawn, something despicable for the pollution and noise in the related maintenance in ANY context.  In consequence, I developed my own criteria on this regard and studied the issues in the web. No lawns, hedges or Ficus hedges. The 3 commandments.

to be continued


Antigonum, always reluctant to burn CO2 for any reason, including 'ecotourism', hit the road with me darling toward far away Maunabo City in the south east of Puerco Rico.

The highway was above average, crater wise 80 percent of the time.  Getting closer to our finish line, we noticed one
Highway Patrol officer in a gray Mustang with a speeding customer.

All was fine including traffic.  Not too many cars.  As we entered a l o n g concrete bridge over a salty marsh, the left rear tire started a noise, reminding yours truly of a locomotive.  But it got stronger and stronger.  Suddenly I realized it. The flapping sound was the shredded flat tire.

Images of dismembered people in pieces while changing a tire on the shoulder of Puertorican highways by speeding cars came to mind like newsreel.

I kept driving slowly on the l o n g bridge and out of the blue, the gray Mustang was right behind me.

I stopped our car and he did likewise. Coming out the car almost at the same time, there was no need to talk, I pulled out the jack, while he loosened the bolts.

The speeding cars were passing as if nothing was happening, but the presence of Cedenho, the kind, professional police officer, helping us, offered some minimal sensation of security.

I pulled the spare, placed it , tightened the bolts and noticed it was low on air!

We told the officer how much appreciated was his help and went looking for the tire shop about a mile away following his directions. 

Two rear tires wear bought.  The service was quick, efficient and professional. 

We hit the road again and landed in Maunabo City, a clean, sophisticated place.  One oddity  of this place is that the beauty of its mountains are as attractive at the Caribbean sea from most angles.  There is beauty.

To watch crabs as some watch frogs in Calaveras County, competing was a trip, a first, in a town where there were no weeds or garbage around.

The live music and dj were adequate, in quality and sound level.  The food was tasty, the people relaxed and polite.  The crab scary and cute at the same time.

Today was a day of reckoning. Puercorico as I have mentioned before, is not the ugly nasty San Juan Metro Zone I have to inhabit.  As a declared misanthropist, for the record, Maunabo, the adventure of getting there, the people, the scenery, ALL gave your humble servant a little hope regarding the possibility of a better place to live
with respect to FLORA/FAUNA and energy to continue my vocation, criticism.
 Apaga i vamonos...

'Por un sendero de mayas, arropas de cundiamores'. Or a  path with agavaceas blanketed by momordica charantia*.


One of my future projects is to take a poem or a few of interest and present it with the botanical names
for those who do not know
what is named/mentioned.

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